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Student Insights for Entrepreneur Interviews

Entrepreneur insights and perceptions related to their businesses were obtained through interviews conducted by students. Student insights and reflections regarding the interview process are shown on this page.

Simply scroll down the page to view. They are shown with the most recent reflections appearing first.

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Records 1051 to 1060 of 1253
When I signed up for busm66 I didn’t know exactly what key information it would provide for my journey but knew that my intuition would bring it to me.
As I was informed that this project would entail actually reaching out to a business owner in the industry that I am actively pursuing I couldn’t help but to feel that this was the necessary key I needed. I was armed with a set of set of powerful questions that help devolve the necessary information to starting out on a path for this industry. What I’ve found was that contrary to what I was told that most if not all business owners would be willing to provide insight into their business. I found that 4 out 5 business ultimately did not want to shed light on their strengths or weaknesses. I came to realize that it was because I had informed them I to wanted to start a vinyl wrap business. Since they were local shops in the Inland empire area and also relatively smaller shops I feel like they reluctant to empower a future competitor. I actually had to reach out to shop on the other side of town in the valley before I had success getting the interview. The funny thing is I hesitated to contact them first because I felt with the big social media presence and high end cars they wrap they wouldn’t want to reach out to me. I was wrong. It appears that the huge shop was actually more than willing and because they are so big they do not feel a threat from a future vinyl wrap shop. If anything they encourage it.
Aside from the humbling experience the information they shared was meaningful and the questions allowed me to truly grasp great information for when I start my business. I feel like because of this experience I finally understand the significance of having a mentor regardless of my age. Because the interview went so well I was actually invited back by the owner to come back whenever I have any situations that he could help with. I’ve gained a business mentor.
Date Submitted: 2017-10-26 02:43:21

For this project, I decided to interview my uncle and he has been an entrepreneur his whole life. Ever since he came to America, he finished up high school here and went straight into the business world. He worked as a sales associate at a furniture company for a little while, and then decided to go straight into opening up one of our families most famous business’s, a candy and chocolate store called Temptations Chocolate Factory. He opened his first store in Old Town Pasadena and fortunately was very lucrative with his store, especially with his real estate being a prime location at which the Rose Parade passed in front of every new year. His success allowed him to open up three more stores across Southern California, including one in Universal Studios.

As he became older and prices of inventory, rent, and wages all simultaneously increased. It was difficult for him to keep up all of his stores, and unfortunately had to begin shutting them down one by one. Until my other uncle, his older brother, decided to buy a franchise and keep the brand alive and running. After he had closed down all the stores, he realized that he was in the “want” business and can be more lucrative, as well as be better at supporting his family, if he was in the “need” business. Meaning that people “want” candy, but really, they “need” food. He focused all of his energy and time into buying a Jims Burgers franchise. Knowing my uncle all my life and him going through various businesses throughout his life as well, I knew he was the perfect person for this project. His work ethic, his wisdom, his business instincts, all are something worth commending. Being and immigrant from another country, not going to college, but successfully providing a roof over your family’s head and food on the table, as well as putting your eldest son through college, all while being an entrepreneur your entire life, is something definitely worth being proud about. His advice and overall happy demeanor, is something that I definitely took away from this project and would apply to myself, if I ever chose to become an entrepreneur.
Date Submitted: 2017-10-26 07:33:36

Jean and Larry are close friends of mine we lived across the street from each other for 6 years. Jean is my mentor and I talked with her regularly when I need advice. I participated in a reading passport event with the public library as well as a kindness even we also coordinated with the Evanston library. I've had the pleasure in sharing some of their most memorable moments such as their retirements, Larry from Northwestern University and Jean from the University of Chicago. It was a dream of theirs to start a business that would keep them busy and grounded during their retirement so I was very excited when they asked me to help them with the website for their new [name removed] store. Seeing them grow through this experience has been wonderful and they are always happy to share their experiences with me.
Date Submitted: 2017-10-26 09:08:12

What was most meaningful to me was the overall approach. Have a plan and research your ideas before jumping in. Check your resources such as the Internet and similar businesses around you, as your tools. Knowledge is power and makes life a lot easier. Know that the world is constantly changing and we must change accordingly. There is less worry with knowledge and constant seeking of it.

I found that the more you seek and research your business, the easier it will be to overcome obstacles. I wish I had done this approach for my current business. The learning curve is a tough one when you are just winging as you go along. Lots of time and money are lost.

We must create that business plan no matter how ruffs the sketch and consider the key components. Cash flow, loans, credit lines, where to purchase product at the best cost and value. Focus on the customer’s needs and your needs for better ease in running your business. You should both be happy with the decisions made. It’s a matter of what is practical and what has easy quick access for satisfaction of both customer and you the business owner.
Date Submitted: 2017-10-26 15:53:49

I think the fact that we can make mistakes, but maybe not too many, will not be the end of the world because I can learn from them and try not to make the same mistake in the future. Because I tend to make many mistakes, it felt reassuring to me that running a business is a learning experience for everyone. I also learned that there are many things to know regarding the business. I need to learn about the type of business that I want to do, the numbers regarding the business like how much I would need to start the business, how to build up credit, and etc. Because there are many items to consider, timing, planning, and passion is especially important when starting a business.

Date Submitted: 2017-10-26 16:22:49

The most meaningful parts to this project was that it showed me the most important parts to run a successful business and the biggest challenges to run a business. It really opened my mind and gave me information that I would have never guessed. It showed me that running a business is harder than expected but is very doable. The owners are very passionate about their company and pour their heart and soul into it. To thrive in your business, it is about how to make your customers happy and their lives easy. Customer service is a big part and will help you grow your business. The other important part was your employees. Employees are a big part and can either do the bare minimum or over achieve and help the business. The last one I learned was a strong sales team. The sales team are incredibly big and should have a class to learn the best ones to talk and interact with potential customers.
The biggest challenges that they told me were very interesting and taught me that it isn’t easy to have a business. The competiveness is very crazy and he taught me how you can overcome it. The other thing that shocked me was the equipment cost. For most businesses you have to buy very expensive equipment and it might break on you so you have to buy it again. You also have to maintain them so they last longer and that is time not on the job.

Date Submitted: 2017-10-26 19:43:20

One of the most meaningful things about this project was that I was able to get an insight into the what it is like running a business. I was able to get a glimpse of how it is being an owner of a business. It also gave me an insight into how difficult it really is and how dedicated you really have to be in order for the business to grow. I now have an even bigger understanding of what's to come in the future when I want to start a business of my own. I also have a bigger appreciation for my major and career path since now I see how my classes are helping me shape up to the future of being a business owner.

Another thing that I took away from this project was the great advice given to me by someone who already knew what it is to start a business. I was able to get ideas and advice on how it is to start a business. What it takes to start one , and also what it takes to get the business rolling and making money. I also got great resources that i'm able to use and put to great use so that I can use when I start my business. With all this great insight, I feel I have a better grasp on what it takes to one day become a business owner myself.
Date Submitted: 2017-10-26 20:05:49

I obtained a good amount of advice from this entire interview. However, there were two questions where I found the answers to be very important. I felt that these responses were going to be important for me to understand completely, and if not now, then eventually understand completely before establishing a business. The first query asked what three things the entrepreneur thought you must do in order to survive and thrive in your business. Lastly, the second question was asking advice on how to prepare, and what should be a focus.

A part of the first set of responses was to know how to run every aspect of your business. This means not only to perfect my craft in whatever it is but know the business aspects of it in order to make sure my craft as a business is successful. Second, is communicating with your employees and as an owner, setting an example for them, allowing your employees to strive. Also, giving them incentives in order to make working for your business enjoyable. Lastly and most importantly is that the customer is always number one. This means tending to their needs and making sure they are content with your services.
The second set of responses consists of advice on how to prepare and what should be focused on. The first was to study every single aspect of your specific type of business. Some examples are city laws, permits and fees. Second is to obtain legal advice. This is very important to me because if at the time I’m not familiar with legal rights, I should seek help from someone who specializes in them, before signing anything. Lastly, is to have a detailed budget. Recognize what it is that you need for your business, and what it will cost.
Date Submitted: 2017-10-26 20:11:58

This project showed me that running a business is not always as glorified as it is set out to be. That many times more hard work is given as opposed to working for someone else. Yet I did learn that working for yourself can be very rewarding and that you don’t have to answer to no one. Yet with all this power you must be ready to handle problems and be ready with solutions at all times. This is all had work and it is why not just anyone can be an entrepreneur. Yet I know that this is something I now know that I truly want to pursue. It seems like it is very demanding and very exciting at the same time. Its something that you must truly have passion for and strive to be.
Date Submitted: 2017-10-26 20:13:35

I actually helped build this business. I am one of the friends he referred to that helped during construction. I did, and taught myself how to do, most of the shop’s woodwork, brickwork, painting, display cases, flooring and drywall in exchange for shares. After opening I was their jack of all trades rover working almost every area of the shop for two years. I overhauled their bakery menu as well as added many flavors to their ice cream and flavored syrup lineup. Unfortunately, due to poor management leading to financial problems, I was laid off during their downsizing. I hadn't really gone back in over a year, and I was surprised to see the changes. I was most surprised to hear all of the personal progress that the owner has gone through. This was really my first time being able to ask him direct questions without him being my "boss". It was very interesting to go back to that situation, with what I know now, and ask direct questions related to the business. This was a very interesting and inspiring project to have worked on. It gave me a lot of confidence in a few areas that I am usually lacking in. I can honestly say I wouldn't have done this on my own without your prompting; thank you.
Date Submitted: 2017-10-26 20:25:36

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